Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Posted October 16, 2015 in Review / 14 Comments

Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published by St. Martin's Press, Macmillan on October 14th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 321
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

AmazonBarnes&Noble Goodreads
One Flame
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

Fantasy Insta-Love YA Romance


Do you need something to read over the holidays?  Desperate for a book for the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon?  If you enjoy innocent (wink) young adult romance that tickles new adult, you will love this holiday themed anthology.

Gathering some the most popular, which also means talented, young adult authors, Stephanie Perkins organized this anthology to hook it’s readers with the first few stories.  And even though I might not have totally went ga-ga over all the stories, ever single one of them was well worth my precious reading time.  It’s just nice to escape into a holiday season only brief moments through each little short story.


My super short summary of each:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Absolutely THE best way to set the tone for this anthology!  I loved this extremely well written story.  Noel and Mags have been a package deal (ie. best friends) ever since Mags “saved” Noel’s life three years ago.  All I can do is share this phenomenal quote with you:


“… And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they’re standing next to you when the ball drops.”


The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link – One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A fairy tale that took a little too long to gather itself up to deliver it’s lesson/moral.  Still entertaining, though.


Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena – One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

I loved this story because it’s told from a guy’s POV – well, duh, it’s written by a guy!  But it’s so genuine and real.  While I was reading this, I could script the girl’s part in my head; Mr. De La Pena got the girl’s POV so accurate, even though he really didn’t write it 😉  This story birthed a new phrase for me: “flexible aesthetic”.  Yep, I’ve got one of those….


Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

#$@%*!  Ended too soon…  grrrrrrr.


It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Anyone who writes a story referencing the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, let alone characters demanding to buy one at a tree lot, gets an automatic five star review….   not really but I love cranky 17 year old North.  He sure did surprise me ∗swoon∗  Marigold wins second best heroine of this anthology with this quote:


“But Marigold was enthralled by the way he said the word unwieldy.  A  fantasy flashed through her mind in which he dictated an endless list of juicy-sounding words.  Innocuous.  Sousaphone.  Crepuscular…”


Fan art by Giovana Medeiros
Fan art by Giovana Medeiros
Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

I was confused by this story.  It started out so awesome.  At the end, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be sad or happy.  I like my HEAs not so cerebral.


Krampulauf by Holly Black – One StarOne StarOne Star

One of two paranormal stories in this anthology.  I wasn’t a fan of the execution of this story. The premise had a ton of potential but I think Ms. Black just took way too long to get there.  Plus I kept having flashbacks of Doofenshmirtz singing about the Kinderlumper – I watch too many cartoons.


What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

I don’t normally go for these kind of stories but I really liked this one because it gave me a nice HEA.  The story started awesome, then got a bit preachy/message-y, and then it got sweet and romantic.  Can I get a collective, “Awwww”?


Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

What happens when you combine a Christmas pageant with a civil war reenactment?  A trouble maker hoping to avoid juvie and maybe get the girl.  The heroine in this story and her father were probably my two favorite characters from this entire anthology!


Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

What the hell?  I freakin’ cried at the BIG moment of this story!  You start with a grinch and end up with a….  I don’t know if I’d say Santa Claus but there’s hope when our heroine finally finds where her home is.  Yeah, I got suckered in to this mush-fest.


Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

I adored this family-centered story to pieces!  I love a good classic tale of bad guy vs. the silly small town folk who don’t know nothin’…  you know how that always ends 😀


The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor – One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

I question putting a paranormal story as the anchor at the end of this anthology but I’m not an editor so what the heck do I know.  I just don’t think this story was the strongest one to end on.  I like the fairy tale feel of it.  I just didn’t get goosebumps or any big “feels” from the story.  Sorry…


Summer Days & Summer Nights



Next summer, Stephanie is releasing another anthology!  Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories will be releasing in June 2016 and has her revisiting North and Marigold (YAY!).  She has also lined up 11 completely different young adult authors for this anthology.  Yes, I will be all over this one, too.






About Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins

Well, hello! I'm Stephanie Perkins, and I write novels for teens (and for adults who aren't afraid to admit that teen books are awesome). I was born in South Carolina, raised in Arizona, attended universities in San Francisco and Atlanta, and now I live in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

My best friend is my husband Jarrod. Our house is almost a hundred years old, and every room is painted a different color of the rainbow. We share it with a cat named Mr. Tumnus.

I've always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. On weekdays, you'll find me at my desk, typing away, downing cups of coffee and tea. On the weekend, you'll find me at the movies, waiting for the actors to kiss. I believe all novels and films should have more kissing.





About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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14 responses to “Review: My True Love Gave to Me – Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

    • K

      I just didn’t know if the guy was reflecting on their happy future in the end or their demise – guess I’m so stupid sometimes I need a sky writer spelling it out for me in the air. I like, say it with me folks, “CLOSURE”!!!!

      …rant done

      grumble grumble.. metaphysical, deep meaning, cerebral crap…. grumble, grumble

    • K

      Those two stories were the best!!! I think we are book twinsies 😉 I can’t wait for next summer’s book!

    • K

      It’s not really NA, it’s YA with most of the kids in High School looking at the first year College. One story has a college “couple”… the guy is house sitting his boss’s apt. Yeah, if you don’t like NA, I’d pass.